Xiaowei Zhuang: Fluorescence Imaging at Nanoscale

I. Super-Resolution Fluorescence Microscopy
II. Applications of Super-resolution STORM

Part I: Super-Resolution Fluorescence Microscopy

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Lecture Overview
Zhuang begins her lecture by explaining that the resolution of traditional light microscopy is about 200 nm due to the diffraction of light. This diffraction limit has long hampered the ability of scientists to visualize individual proteins and sub-cellular structures. The recent development of sub-diffraction limit, or super resolution, microscopy techniques, such as STORM, allows scientists to obtain beautiful images of individual labeled proteins in live cells. In Part 2 of her talk, Zhuang gives two examples of how her lab has used STORM; first to study the chromosome organization of E. coli and second, to determine the molecular architecture of a synapse.

Speaker Bio
Xiaowei Zhuang is Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Professor of Physics at Harvard University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She received her B.S. in physics from University of Science and Technology of China and her Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. As a post-doctoral fellow with Steven Chu at Stanford University, Zhuang began to use her background in physics to develop methods such as FRET to study biological processes at the single molecule level. Her lab continues to develop super- resolution microscopy techniques and applies these to answering questions in cell and neurobiology.

Dr. Zhuang’s innovative research has been recognized with numerous awards including the Sackler International Prize for Biophysics in 2011.

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